Jan Molby is adamant that Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers must start with Mario Balotelli and Daniel Sturridge against Tottenham on Sunday.

The Reds snapped up the controversial £16m Italian on Monday, but due to the deal going through late on he was forced to watch the loss at Manchester City from the stands.

The 24-year-old has since been training with his new team-mates all week ahead of the trip to White Hart Lane, with Brendan Rodgers having talked up his fitness after a pre-season with AC Milan and the prospect of him featuring against table-topping Spurs.

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Since the exit of Luis Suarez, the Northern Irishman has been using Sturridge as a lone striker instead of in a pair, and Molby believes that the Merseysiders will have to go back to a ‘two up top’ set-up in London to make the most of the ‘Balotelli factor’:

“To make the most of the buzz around the signing of Mario Balotelli the striker needs to start Liverpool’s game at Tottenham.” He wrote in the Liverpool Echo.

“Brendan Rodgers might be considering easing him in gently by bringing him off the bench but I hope he’s unleashed from the first minute.

“The fact is the last name Spurs will want to see on that team sheet on Sunday is Balotelli’s. He’s unpredictable and having him in the starting line up would give the players around him a lift, as well as the club’s supporters.

“The manager played with two strikers last season in Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge and I hope he finds room for both Sturridge and Balotelli. We want to be as brave as we were last season. One will obviously need to drift wide at times and both will need to work hard.”

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